A ROCK legend will be returning to his Bromsgrove roots for two nights featuring a special performance and talk.

Bromsgrovian and Dire Straits bassist John Illsley will delight fans of the multi-million selling band at Bromsgrove School on Tuesday November 12 and Tuesday November 19.

Along with Mark Knopfler, John was a founder member of the legendary band Dire Straits. During their time together, the band sold over 120 million albums.

It is rumoured that the band's name came about when John's housemaster warned him about getting into "dire straits".

The evenings, which are to be held at the School’s state of the art Performing Arts facility Routh Hall, sold out in a matter of minutes.

The evenings will include performances of well-loved hits as well as a question and answer session by Paul Cummins (ex-Dire Straits management), taking the audience on the band’s journey, from its humble beginnings in South London, where songs like Sultans of Swing and Wild West End were created, to playing all over the world to millions of fans.

John will also recount tales of his school days, with questions led by fellow Old Bromsgrovian Nicholas Evans (author of the Horse Whisperer).

He will be joined on stage by his band, who will play music from Dire Straits’ back catalogue, including Money for Nothing, Brothers in Arms and Romeo and Juliet.

As a pupil at Bromsgrove, John joined the school's rock band and it was here that the bass became his instrument of choice.

He was Lance Corporal in the CCF and a House Monitor in his final year.

Sport figured significantly in John's School career as well - he was on the team for water polo, athletics and gained his rugby colours whilst playing for the 1st XV.

He was awarded the 'Green-jacket cup' in 1964, a year after he joined the School.